Early Spiritual Rebellions (01:52)
In 203 AD, Perpetua was sentenced to death by Romans in Carthage for refusing to denounce her faith—a symbol of worldwide struggles between religion and authority.
Ashoka's Remorse (03:13)
Learn how the Mauryan Emperor went on a rampage in neighboring Kalinga in the 2nd century BC. Instead of feeling triumph, he reflected on suffering caused by war.
Mauryan Empire Tolerance (03:45)
Learn how Ashoka turned to Buddhism and promoted peace and human rights across his empire. He spread his message through written edicts and continues to inspire non-violent leaders.
Qin Dynasty (02:02)
By 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang had perfected the "rain of arrows" tactic to conquer mainland Asia and found China. Learn how he united his empire through a single writing system.
Terracotta Army (02:14)
Emperor Qin believed he would take China with him to the afterlife. Learn about his city sized underground mausoleum protected by mannequin soldiers.
Qin Legacy (03:46)
The emperor imposed legalism on China and despised Confucius' humanist philosophy, burning books and killing scholars. Despite his tyranny, he united China.
Egyptian-Roman Alliance (05:28)
China and Rome ruled similar populations and territories but never came into contact. In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt; learn how Cleopatra seduced him to capture the throne in Alexandria.
Caesar's Divine Status (04:35)
Caesar founded the Jupiter Cult and was assassinated in 44 BC; successive emperors used his model for political legitimacy. A civil war ensued and Cleopatra killed herself; Egypt became a Roman province.
Paul the Apostle (04:29)
Learn how Saul participated in Stephen's martyrdom. According to the Bible, he was blinded on the way to persecute Christians in Damascus.
Early Evangelism (02:48)
Learn how Paul endured hardships while spreading Christianity to non-Jewish populations. He was arrested and beheaded in Rome.
Christian Persecution (05:39)
Christian executions were used as Roman entertainment. Hear Perpetua's account of a vision where she fought the devil while awaiting death in 203 AD.
Martyrdom Cult (04:38)
Public executions such as Perpetua's were seen as brave acts by Romans, who began converting to Christianity. Learn how Constantine transformed it to a fighting religion.
Nazca Culture (05:04)
In 535-536 AD, limited sunlight caused global crop failures. View sacrificial victims in Cahuachi and learn how the society cut down huarango trees for agricultural expansion.
Nazca Downfall (01:11)
30 years of rain without huarango tree roots caused soil erosion, followed by 30 years of drought. The society increased human sacrifices and created more lines; crop failure drove them into the Andes.
Rise of Islam (04:35)
In 620 AD, Ethiopian slave Bilal was tortured for refusing to renounce his faith. A Mohammed disciple bought his freedom; Muslims fled tribal chiefs to Medina where they built a spiritual base.
Faith and Sword (02:32)
Muslims combined spiritual and military struggles to spread their religion; within 150 years of Mohammed's death the Islamic Empire exceeded Roman territory. Today, 1.5 billion people are Muslim.
Credits: The Word and the Sword: History of the World (00:37)
Credits: The Word and the Sword: History of the World
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